Themes & Tensions

Theme 1: Organizational Intangibles and Tangible Value

What are the intangible drivers which determine the livability of organizations for insiders and their credibility and attraction to outsiders?

Living Tensions:

  • Vision, strategy, and leadership: the top-down and bottom-up
  • Balancing internal and external intangible drivers
  • Creating the conditions of innovation
  • Managing intangibles for tangible outcomes
  • Building intellectual capital and maintaining intellectual property
  • Networks, clusters, alliances: building collaborative organizational cultures
  • Developing sustainable organizational cultures: government, community, and NGOs

Theme 2: Knowledge Economies as the Constant

Ours is the era of the knowledge economy, but when has this not been the truth?

Living Tensions:

  • Reconceptualizing ‘economy’ in knowledge societies
  • Blurring the boundaries: formal vs. informal learning, training, and education
  • An appropriate education for the new work orders: managing vs. preempting change
  • New types of organizations: what do you need to learn today, how to prepare for tomorrow
  • Technologies and organizational change: removing heritage systems and moving forward with new tech
  • Making the most of intellectual and human capital: understanding small data, aggregating big data
  • Addressing the divides: digital, development, social
  • Agonies of change: working with order and chaos; regularity and complexity

Theme 3: Organizations as Knowledge Makers

What is this nebulous thing ‘knowledge’ and how do organizations create, innovate, and manage it?

Living Tensions:

  • What is knowledge and what is the role of learning?
  • Who makes a knowledge worker: workplace vs lifelong learning?
  • The balance of personal capacity and organizational resources
  • Mentoring: where leadership means knowledge transfer
  • Restructuring: revamping, rethinking and reevaluation
  • Knowledge as a factor of production or an underlying expense?
  • Transforming personal knowledge into common knowledge

Theme 4: The Value of Culture and the Demand of Change

How do we guide change to social, stakeholder and market dynamics grounded in principles of ethics, equality and care for those in our organizations and the societies we live in?

Living Tensions:

  • What is organizational culture? ‘Organic’, ‘community’, ‘complexity’ and other metaphors
  • What makes a culture of success: negotiating past, present future
  • The balance of markets, clients, stakeholders and community expectations
  • Agonies of change: working with order and chaos; regularity and complexity
  • Productive diversity: capitalizing on human differences
  • The inclusive and supportive workplace: ethics, equality, care
  • Different ways of working?
  • Globalization, internationalization and organizational change
  • Legal and regulatory challenges in a constantly changing environment